The Role of Small Wins in Boosting Performance: Progress Principle & Transformational Coaching

Success often gets framed around significant milestones. However, studies suggest small wins can significantly impact individual performance more than once believed. According to the “progress principle” proposed by Amabile and Kramer, these tiny victories can boost motivation, engagement, and productivity1. But how can we harness the power of these small wins? The answer lies in transformational coaching.

Small Wins: The Unseen Powerhouse

Small wins are the modest, often overlooked steps towards a larger goal2. They might seem insignificant in isolation, but when added up, they form a ladder of progress that can lead to significant improvements in performance and morale1. They also provide a continual source of motivation and satisfaction, making them a powerful tool for enhancing individual performance1.

Transformational Coaching: Igniting the Power of Small Wins

Transformational coaching is a process that seeks to bring about significant change in individuals by tapping into their intrinsic motivation and promoting personal growth3. It focuses on nurturing the potential of individuals and enhancing their performance. The alignment between the ethos of transformational coaching and the progress principle is precise – they both advocate for recognizing and celebrating small wins on the path to greater achievement.

How Transformational Coaching Utilizes the Power of Small Wins

Encouraging Goal Setting

Setting clear, achievable goals is a central aspect of transformational coaching3. These goals are often broken down into smaller, manageable tasks, providing numerous opportunities for individuals to experience small wins1.

Fostering Positive Reinforcement

Transformational coaching emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement in motivating individuals3. Recognizing and celebrating small wins is a form of positive reinforcement, boosting self-confidence and motivation1.

Enhancing Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation, a critical factor in transformational coaching, can be significantly enhanced by small wins1. The satisfaction derived from these small victories boosts inherent motivation, leading to improved performance.

Small wins are the powerhouse behind successful performance and higher levels of job satisfaction. By utilizing transformational coaching to leverage small wins, we empower people with the tools they need to further their progress and successes.

Through goal setting, positive reinforcement, and intrinsic motivation, transformational coaching pushes us towards bigger wins in our personal lives and professional careers, which lead to stronger relationships, improved productivity, and, ultimately, a deeper sense of fulfillment.

The power of small wins should not be underestimated; let’s start tapping into it today. Are you ready to boost your team’s performance through transformational coaching? Let’s discuss ideas, create actionable plans together, and achieve unprecedented success.


  1. Amabile, T. & Kramer, S. (2011). The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Harvard Business Review Press.
  2. Weick, K. E. (1984). Small wins: Redefining the scale of social problems. American Psychologist, 39(1), 40-49.
  3. Passmore, J., & Theeboom, T. (2015). Coaching Psychology: A journey of development in research. International Coaching Psychology Review, 10(1), 21-36.

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